What Are DFS Live Finals And How Do I Qualify?

DFS Live Finals are, I think, the second best experience you can have as a DFS player. The first is, of course, a huge win. People who experience them typically love live finals, but many DFS players don’t know what they are or how to qualify. So I’ll break it down in our little how to qualify for DFS live finals guide.

What Are DFS Live Finals?

DFS Live Finals are contests you can’t directly buy your way into. You need to qualify by winning a ticket in another DFS contest.

Some common attributes of DFS Live Finals:

Typically, because it is difficult to qualify, the finals themselves have large prize pools. A recent DraftKings Fantasy Football World Championship (FFWC), for example, had 200 total entrants, with a total prize pool of $14 million. The winner took home $2.5 million, along with getting their name added to the new trophy for winners of the event.

This is the largest prize pool of any current Live Final, but goes to show how large the prize pools can get at these events. The FanDuel World Fantasy Football Championship (WFFC) had $2 million in prizes for 80 entrants, with $500,000 to first.

If you qualify, the sites will typically pay you the minimum payout on the same day. So, for example, the minimum payout for the FFWC was $20,000, but any qualifier who min-cashed had already received their prize when they qualified.

Historically, Live Finals are in-person events, where qualifiers are all invited to the same location to meet and sweat the games together. Most accommodations, such as hotel and many meals, are paid for by the host site. Generally, they are in fun, warm places.

The DraftKings FFWC was in Phoenix, with guests put up at the swanky Arizona Biltmore hotel. The FanDuel WFFC was a cruise, stopping in Miami, Key West, and the Bahamas. Underdog Fantasy also introduced the Dawg Bowl this year, which took place in Miami and paid $200,000 to first.

Notably, this season, FanDuel’s World Fantasy Basketball Championship (WFFBC) is a virtual live final in March. Here’s hoping this does not become the norm.

Generally, these events come with some swag from the hosts. At the DraftKings FFWC, for example, each qualifier was given a Lululemon duffle bag, a FFWC sweatshirt, a choice between several nice sunglasses, and a choice between several online gifts, such as coffeemakers, sandals, or a projector, among many other options.

The host sites usually set up fun activities for qualifiers and their guests. At the DraftKings FFWC, qualifiers and guests had their choice between golfing, mini golf, or a massage, along with several provided meals where everybody could eat and watch games together.

At most of these events, you can meet some of the top DFS pros in the game. The DraftKings FFWC had several of the top players of all time.

Every event is drastically different, so if you’re thinking about trying to qualify, make sure you read the specifics of the event. A championship event for a sport is going to look a bit different than, for example, a King of the Beach event.

How Do I Qualify For DFS Live Finals?

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The only way to qualify for a live final is to win a ticket via a DFS contest. Sometimes, there are multiple steps, where you need win multiple contests to get to the live final. One nice thing is that there are generally several different price points for qualifier contests. Some as little as a $5 buy-in against thousands of opponents. Others $10,000+ against ten or fewer opponents.

These are regular DFS contests that you can find in the lobbies just like any other contest. Typically, however, the payout structure is extremely flat; if you don’t win a ticket, you are probably winning either nothing or a very small amount of money. Make sure you check the payout structure and are comfortable with it before entering!

Author
Neil Orfield has been playing DFS regularly since 2013, but his success really started taking off in 2019 when he had a six figure payday with a hand built NFL lineup. The next day, he signed up for a Stokastic+ subscription with FantasyCruncher. Since then he has won an NFL milly and added six figure wins in XFL, MLB, and NBA. He has recently excelled at NFL Showdown, with many five- and six-figure wins since 2021.

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